I often get asked what I eat, so as I sat eating breakfast with my son this morning I thought I’d give some insight into my breakfast habits. Now I’ll be honest…..I don’t always eat perfectly. In fact, I think most of my meals are imperfect. I could always use a little more of this or a little more of that, but I think in the end it all works out. And being that one of my goals in this blog is to be honest and practical, I’m going to divulge my imperfections. We all “know” what we are supposed to do and don’t always do it, and I am no exception. I could sit here and pretend that I spend my afternoons soaking beans and grains, kneading whole wheat flour into bread, or roasting root vegetables for a mid-day snack, but I don’t. I do these things, yes, but not consistently. I could be doing one of those things now while Soren naps, but instead I am here blogging.
But I digress. Back to breakfast. Here is this morning’s menu: two pieces of cinnamon toast from Great Harvest with butter, 2 eggs scrambled, and a cup of coffee. “Holy cholesterol,” you might say. Yes, it’s a little heavy on the cholesterol. I’m really not too concerned about that. What I should be concerned about is what is missing. Can you guess? Clearly I am missing a good source of antioxidants. Ok, yes, coffee is rich in antioxidants, but some colorful plant matter would do me good. I should have added an orange or bowl of blueberries, for instance, or scrambled my eggs with some spinach and tomatoes. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
The reason antioxidants are on my mind brings me back to one particular session at the FNCE conference. A couple of PhD nutrition researchers gave a very interesting presentation on recent data surrounding fats and heart disease. What research has found, they explained, was that it is true that saturated fats increase the overall risk for heart disease by increasing LDL, aka “bad,” cholesterol. This LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized, gets deposited in our arteries, and cardiovascular disease begins. That is information most of us already know. What they also found was that by decreasing saturated fats and replacing those calories with carbohydrates, our risk for heart disease stays the same. That doesn’t sound good considering our love of low-fat diets and refined carbohydrates in this country. Also, they reported that even with meals high in saturated fats, blood levels of oxidized LDL actually do not increase significantly if that meal is consumed with antioxidants. A study on the effects of red wine was one used, which made me happy. Anyways, all that to say….antioxidants are important, so eat your blueberries. And instead of replacing saturated fat with carbs, include more healthy fats instead. The whole low-fat diet idea really needs to just go away. So thinking back to my breakfast, I think this would be a better scenario: 1 piece of toast with butter, 2 eggs scrambled with spinach & tomatoes, 1 orange, and my beloved cup of coffee. What do you think?